I WAS delighted with the Government’s announcement last week that support for childcare is to be extended (March 19). The new tax-free package will see families receive up to £2,000 childcare support per child.

This means that working parents earning at least £50 per week will get 20 per cent off the cost of childcare up to a limit of £10,000 for every child under the age of 12. Those working part-time, on maternity leave or starting their own business will also be eligible for support with their childcare costs. It is estimated that 5,200 families in York will benefit.

At the same time the Government is also making sure that those on the new universal credit will get 85 per cent of their childcare costs fully covered.

Childcare can be a huge expense for families and a recent report confirms that many parents are paying more for childcare annually than they are for their mortgage. That can prevent parents who want to return to work from doing so.

This is why last week’s announcement by Nick Clegg is such a welcome and important step.

Coun Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education, children and young people’s services, Earswick Chase, York